It was announced on Monday afternoon, just one day before the Phillies travel to Toronto, Canada to take on the Blue Jays, that four players on the team would not be making the trip. According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Aaron Nola, Kyle Gibson, JT Realmuto, and Alec Bohm are the four players that will not travel with the team.
The reasoning for the lack of Phillies
Before the 2022 season began, Canada ruled that anyone who wished to enter their country must be vaccinated against COVID-19. While there are limited exceptions to the rule, athletics is not one of them. The Phillies have dealt with their fair share of COVID-related issues during the past two seasons. At one point the team was one of the lowest vaccinated teams in Major League Baseball.
Since Aaron Nola, Kyle Gibson, JT Realmuto, and Alec Bohm are all not vaccinated against COVID, they are not able to play in Toronto in the upcoming two-game series.
Kyle Gibson recently shared in a post-game interview that he is not vaccinated due to him having Ulcerative Colitis. Gibson’s spot in the rotation was changed so he could pitch on Saturday and not miss his next start, which would have taken place in Toronto.
What to Expect
While it may just be a two-game series, the Phillies will be without two of their better hitters in Alec Bohm and JT Realmuto. Both Nola and Gibson would have been spectators in this series but the two bats will leave a huge hole in the Phillies lineup.
Expect Garrett Stubbs to be the starting catcher for the two games against the Blue Jays. Stubbs is hitting .278 on the season with a 148 OPS+. He has been very clutch for Philadelphia this season. In this series, you may also see Yairo Munoz or Bryson Stott get a couple of starts at third base in the absence of Alec Bohm.
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